Holiday Reading

A few recommendations from our team.

If you’re looking for a last-minute gift for a military history buff or if you’re simply looking for a way to pass the time during the holidays, we’ve got tonnes of book recommendation for you! A few movie/TV recommendations too. Most of these books are available on kindle or e-readers, otherwise they are available in store.



The Secret History of Soldiers (Tim Cook) – a history with the focus on the lives of everyday soldiers, from one of Canada’s foremost military historians.

The Eleventh Hour (Jacques Goldstyn, translated Anne Louise Mahoney) – graphic novel by a French-Canadian author. For young people but very charming for readers of all ages.

C’était la guerre des tranchées (Jacques Tardi) – a graphic novel set in the trenches (French + English versions).

Le Dernier assaut : la vie de lieutenant Jean Brillant (Luc Bertrand) – biography of a French Canadian Victoria Cross recipient (French)

Paris 1919 (Margaret MacMillan) – an in-depth account of the events of the Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles.

Sister Soldiers of the Great War: The Nurses of the Canadian Army Medical Corps (Cynthia Toman) – you want to know more about Canadian nurses in WWI? This excellent book is available on Kindle and e-readers.

Spanish Flu

The Last Plague: Spanish Influenza and the Politics of Public Health in Canada (Mark Osborne Humphries) – the history of the Spanish Flu in Canada!

Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World (Laura Spinney) – a well-researched history of the Spanish Flu by a talented storyteller


Appeasement (Tim Bouverie) – tells the story of the how the indecision, failed diplomacy and political infighting of the British government enabled Hitler’s rise

Fighting for America:  Black Soldiers – the Unsung Heroes of WWII (Christopher Moore) – a very American perspective, but it’s always interesting to read about black soldiers and racial dynamics in the world wars!

D-Day Girls:  The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis and Helped Win WWII (Sarah Rose) – the riveting true story of British female spies

Canada at War: A Graphic History of World War Two (Paul Keery) – a graphic history that traces the achievements of the Canadian Forces in WWII. Great for younger readers and adults alike.

Infographie de la Seconde Guerre mondiale (N. Aubin, V. Bernard, N. Guillerat) – WWII brilliantly explained through infographics. In French only.

Films and television:

Charité (series) – an excellent German series. Season 2 takes place in a German hospital from 1943-1945. On Netflix.

Amour, haine et propaganda (series) – documentary about the role of propaganda in WWII (Radio-Canada)

Jojo Rabbit (film) – an award-winning 2019 film about a young boy in the Hitler Youth who befriends a Jewish girl.

The Man in the High Castle (series) – an alternate history wherein the Axis had won WWII

Paths of Glory (film) – a 1957 classic!

Letters from Iwo Jima (film) – the Battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective

1917 (film) – Beautifully filmed, this recent film is definitely a new classic!

Happy reading from the JMS team!